fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Federal Reserve Bank <"WWW."@festa.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Federal Reserve Bank <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:55:16 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From the Desk Of Mr. William C. Dudley
From the Desk Of Mr. William C. Dudley
Of Federal Reserve Bank
33 Liberty St
New York, NY 10045-0001
From the records of outstanding beneficiaries due for payment with federal
Government of U.S.A your name was discovered as next on the list out of the 11
outstanding beneficiaries who have not yet received their payments during the 3
years tenure of the previous administration office please bear with us for
making this initial contact through email. Meanwhile, a woman came to us a few
days ago with a letter claiming to be your true representative and is willing
to come up with $155 to have the fund delivered to her.
Here is her information$B!G(Bs below.
Name: Mrs Alpina Clinton
Bank name: BANK OF THE WEST BUSINESS SERVICES
DIVISION SAN RAMON,CA 94583
Please do reconfirm to this bank as a matter of urgency if this woman is from you or
not so that the federal government will not be held responsible for paying into wrong
account, if this woman is not your representative, you requested to fill and send this
information$B!G(Bs for verification purpose so that your fund valued ($4.700, 000.00 usd) will
be remitted in to your nominated bank account.
Get back to us asap
Mr. William C. Dudley
Director Federal Reserve Bank
33 Liberty St New York , NY 10045-0001